Monday, September 7, 2020

Elric in Comics

Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné has appeared in many comics over the years, most of them more or less straight adaptations of his literary adventures. There are exceptions, of course, like these issues of Marvel's Conan the Barbarian, which features Elric fighting side by side with the celebrated Cimmerian (in a story penned by Moorcock himself). 

A couple of other noteworthy "appearances" are parodies, such as this one in the page of issue #57 (September 1984) of White Dwarf. The issue featured another installment of Carl Critchlow's Thrud the Barbarian, in which the eponymous barbarian encounters Eric of Bonémaloné, "the last prince of a dying race: a melancholy crimson eyed wimp, who can only survive through a deadly symbiotic relationship with the magical sword Stoatbringer!"
I remember this particular comic well, since issue #57 was from the run when I had a subscription to White Dwarf. Thrud the Barbarian, along with The Travellers, was one of my favorite things about White Dwarf and I still look back with fondness on both comics. 

Another parody of Elric was Elrod of Melvinbone, who appeared in Dave Sim's Cerebus, first appearing in issue #4 (June 1978), but reappearing many times thereafter. This character is a strange one, in large part because he inexplicably has the speech patterns of Foghorn Leghorn (or Senator Claghorn, if you prefer). He wielded a magic sword called Seersucker.
I don't believe I ever encountered Elrod until I was in college, when I met a guy who was a huge fan of Cerebus (then still incomplete). He had several of those large phonebook-style collections and lent them to me in an effort to turn me on to them. At the time, I found them equal parts baffling and trippy and could never quite understand what he saw in them, but I thought Elrod (and, to a lesser extent, Red Sophia) was a mildly amusing parody of the original. I recall reading somewhere that Moorcock found Elrod funny, which, if true, speaks well of the man, though I can find no evidence of it from my brief searches into the matter. 


  1. I like the new set of comics that came out in 2018. Very moody, and show how decadent his society was.

  2. I've never seen those parodies, love them! I remember the crossover issues with Conan.

    I picked up the recent reprints of the old Elric comic adaptations from the 80's and early 90's and they're excellent. Real gems from an era when there were lots of comic imprints willing to go outside the norm and put lavish effort into it. In particular I love the Sailor on the Seas of Fate adaptation.